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The Last Word

News/Business. (2012) New.

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Pennsylvania 18, Us 12, Obama 5, Alan Alda 5, Karen Finney 3, Barack Obama 2, Lipper 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Romney 2, Washington 2, Massachusetts 2, Moynihan 2, Warren 2, Jim Buckley 2, Dell 2, Jack Kennedy 2, Dan Quayle 2, David K. Johnstone 2, New York 1, Jonathan 1,
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  MSNBC    The Last Word    News/Business.  (2012) New.  

    October 2, 2012
    7:00 - 7:59pm PDT  

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they think it's great politics. so tonight has been an unsettled big night. tomorrow night is going to make tomorrow look like a traffic camera on a desert highway. i'll be here in new york. chris matthews will be in denver. steve schmidt and many others will all be helping us bring you the big show. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern going all the way to midnight. we will see you tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. can mitt romney win the debate tonight? yes and i will show him how to do that. will he win? this is mitt romney we're talking about. what are the odds of him taking my advice. >> both presidential candidates battening down the hatches. >> who's going to bring the
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dynamite to denver. >> only with an day to go. >> the great debate. >> the rocky mountain showdown. >> 350e78 want to know who's going to win. >> who's going to score the punches. >> what you need is sin certifity, if you can fake that you can do everything. >> mitt romney tried to show his empathy. >> i don't think there's anything that shows more empathy. >> i'm sfriesed it took him that long to get there. he didn't spend enough time in the middle. >> romney's task is more difficult. >> romney's task is more difficult. >> he has to introduce himself to the american people. >> how many times can you reintroduce yourself. >> i'm mitt romney, i'm mitt romney, i'm mitt romney ♪ >> i'm mitt romney. >> i believe that abargs should be safe and local in this country. >> i will repeal obama care. >> don't forget, i got everybody in my state insured.
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>> he's trying to walk and chew gum at the sament time. >> this is a campaign about the 100%. i'm not concerned about the very poor. >> it's the narrative that's culling this campaign. >> the paradox of the mittens. >> i'm not familiar with precisely what i said, but i stand by what i said, whatever it was. >> and i hope to be your president. thank you. just 35 days until the presidential election, and just 23 hours until the first presidential debate. mitt romney is in colorado where his handlers are desperately trying to teach him to be likable. romney advisers' chief concerns are the intangibles such as body language and demeanor. they want their candidate to balance his finely tuned arguments with personal warmth. his advisers knowledge that it
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will be difficult for him to endear himself to the country. his advisers have been nervous about how romney's intermittent anger would play in a one-on-one debate with obama. here are some of the primary debate memories haunting team romney. >> $10,000 bet? i'm running for office for pete's sake. >> i'm mitt romney and yes, wolf, that's also my first name. >> will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. >> i'm speaking. i'm speaking. >> the newspaper -- >> you get 30 seconds -- this is the way the rules work here is that i get 60 seconds -- >> no, but the american people want the truth. >> anderson -- >> you say you knew. >> would you please wait are you just going to keep talking? >> oh, yes. policing the rules. always an effective debate
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tactic. today rush limbaugh who has never spoken a useful word of advise for presidential debate preparation said he would like to see more of that embarrassing stuff from romney. >> people want to see some fight. they want to see romney man up. look, you got the no romney thal that to newt and to rick perry and all the other republicans in the primary. where is that guy? maybe we're going to see some of that in the debate. we'll reserve it. we've got five weeks. anything can happen, but people want to see some passion. president obama took a break from debate preparation today in nevada to visit the set of the racial maddow tv commercial. a new national nbc news poll tonight shows that 52% of registered voters view the
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president positively, 42% view him negatively. 41% view mitt romney positively, 44% view romney negatively. mitt romney's favorability rating is lower than every other presidential nominee's rating at this point in the election in the history of this poll, except for george h.w. bush's 34/52 rating. and he lost that election. tonight, ann romney seems sure that the country will soon realize how lucky we are that mitt romney is running for president. >> i know he's very well prepared. he's focused, he's very bright. i think the country will be blessed by having someone with his skill set, his experience and his -- just his goodness. to be able to run this country. this guy does care that he's out there. and he's a person with
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compassion. >> first lady michelle obama did not attempt to lower expectationings for her husband today. >> he doesn't need much advice. he's a very good debater. so i do tell him to have fun and relax and just be himself because the truth is if he's the barack obama the country has come to know and trust, he's going to do a great job. >> the new nation nbc news poll shows that among likely voters president obama polls at 49% and mitt romney at 46%. tonight, night silver of the new york times blog, forecasts that on november 6 obama will win 318 votes and mitt romney will win 219. and president obama's chance of winning the election is now at 84.7%. joining me now john hiel man and krystal ball.
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when i see him out at hoover dam today, i think we are going to hear some sort of rachel like ode to hoover dam in the debate and the power of federal infrastructure spending and what it can do to this country and the economy. >> i think you're absolutely right. that is the core message. it's we're in it together versus you're on your own. and to that point, mitt romney still has never really come up with a coherent explanation, because there isn't one, for his comments about the 47%. so as they're talking about the zingers he's been preparing for this debate and how he's been practicing for months, there's no verbal strik to get you out of that box. and there's also nothing you can do to avoid the fact that your positions have changed so much
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from the primary to now and back and forth. so that's one of the things that you have to look at. it's not just preparation and flg good responses. some things there is no way to get out of them. >> the friends of mitt romney at the national review today report that romney's advisers have armed him, this is a quote, armed him with a bushel of of zingers. sources say he'll be ready with scripted lines on a variety of fronts. john, this is not officially a disaster of debate prep for mitt romney. you know, as you know, debate handlers have come up with zingers before to candidates, but they do not leak to the media ahead of time that they have a big bag of zingers ready to go. they actually try to let the candidate take some credit for being clever and quick on his feet. this is now a hopeless situation for romney. >> i've become increasingly convinced when they're talking
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about zingers they're talking about the hostess snack cakes. there's been so much telegraphing of punches of the romney campaign not only with the zinger comments but also last week when they started telegraphing the notion they were going to take on the president on his vars veracity, they were going to challenge his onsti. they're tal graphed so gratuito gratuitously, it makes me think that some of these things must be decoys and that mitt romney is not going to try to throw zingers on him or he's going to do what he does need to do which is to look presidential. there's still a huge number of people in the country. forget about introducing himself. there are a lot of people who have over the past months come to the conclusion that mitt romney is a caricature and they've come to the conclusion
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that they don't really believe he's a plausible alternative to barack obama. they don't really see him as a president. that is the biggest hurdle he has to overcome. forget about likable. forget about anything else. he has to walk out of the debate with people thinking i can imagine that guy in the oval office, and if he doesn't do that, that's how he's going to lose the debate. >> i'm going to show him later exactly how to do that in the show. bill o'reilly made a point this morning on "the today show" about the zingers. >> the pressure is on the governor. he has to come across as a regular guy, which i'm not sure he can do. if you come in with zingers, you sound stilled. he's just going to come across as a zomby
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. now the problem becomes if romney doesn't get off some memorable line, a really effective line, all the critics and the reviewers of this are going to say well, you know, he didn't score. it didn't happen. he didn't do what he set out to do. it's a double edged sword. that's exactly right. we're all going to be looking for these great zingers. but also when they happen you know that everyone is going to go crazy judging whether these were really good and whether they had been worthy of two months' time of preparation. i totally agree he has to come out and look presidential. and part of that package is to show why it is that he's running for the presidency. because i don't think the american public really understands that. they don't see that he has any particular passion or any core, in terms of issues that he deeply cares about. and if he can't convey that in the debate, i think that's going
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to be an ongoing problem for him. >> i want to stay with this zinger thing for one more bit, which is that we all remember -- crystal is not old enough of course, remember the 1988 line by lloyd benson, it was in the vice presidential campaign where he said to dan quayle, i knew jack kennedy, and you're no jack kennedy. that line was said by the losing side of that campaign. no one from benson world jumped forward to say hey, i wrote that for him. there was none of that. there was no leaking like that. >> you know, look. the best big knockout punches, that wasn't really a knockout punch. dan quayle ended up punching himself in the face. a great line that comes out in
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the debate are the ones that seem to be unscripted that no one has tell graphed in advance. the polls have been tightening. romney is going to get some elevation just by standing on stage next to barack obama. if he ends up putting a performance that is not zinger filled, that contrasts with our expectations and ends up looking pretty good uch there, there will be a lot of people who say he won the debate. >> mitt romney goes into the debate at a 52% favorability rating with voters. mitt romney at a 42% favorability rating. i don't know how he makes that up in 90 minutes of a debate. >> thank you for joining us. >> thanks lawrence. >> snack cakes. coming up, the 47% effect. new polls show just how much the tapes have hert mitt romney. and he was caught in a lie today
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about his secret tax returns. and in voter suppression news, a big win for voters in a pennsylvania courtroom today. and in the rewrite, the only way mitt romney can win the debate, it was all laid out for him by the best republican presidential debater ever, who was of course a fictional character in the t.v. series "the west wing." nd.. ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it.
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>> i've had a lot of republicans tell me, even supporters of yours, they look to mitt romney's tape, that 47% comment, how damaging was that? >> it was -- mitt acknowledged it was a very inarticulate way of a point we've been making all along in this campaign. in the end, it is unlikely that either candidate for president will say something. with a greater impact on the outcome of the election than this. >> there are 47% of the people are going to vote for the people either way. there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government.
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who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. who believe they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name i. that's an entitlement and the government should give it to them. and they will vote for this president no matter what. and i mean the president starts off with 48, 49, he starts off with a huge number. 47% of americans pay no income taxes. so our message of low taxes doesn't connect. he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. i mean that's what they sell every four years. my job is not to worry about those people. i'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. a new poll finds 45% of registered voters feel more negative about mitt romney after that 47% comment. just 23% feel more positive about him. 24% said the comment did not
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make much difference. and because of what they've read, seen or heard about mitt romney over the last few weeks, 51% now have a less favorable impression of mitt romney. 28% have a more favorable impression of romney. joining me now are jonathan capeheart, opinion writer for "the washington post" and nia henderson a reporter for "the washington post." nia, the verdict is in here. i can't think of a way mitt romney could possibly say something tomorrow night more damaging and more important to this campaign than what he's already said about the 47%. >> that's right. and you will imagine that tomorrow he will try to make up for the damage. every time i see the video i always look at that waiter who is moving past that camera and wonder what that waiter must be
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thinking when they hear mitt romney say this. and if you look at some of the polls one of the things that's obvious is that president obama is starting to do well, particularly among a blue collar women. if you look at the polls in 2008 he got about 41%, in some of these swing states now, iowa, wisconsin, he's doing 52% among these women, blue collar white women and i think in some ways this video is probably going to help him do even better. if you look at what they've done with their own commercial, they basically have these words that mitt romney said and they have these images of women particularly in these commercials and the most images are of single white women and they are obviously making some head way in that group because of these words. >> paul ryan was given a chance to reach out to the 47% today in a question that he was asked on the campaign trail by a voter
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who asked about the 47%. ryan of course completely missed that opportunity. and i think really solidified the romney/ryan view of the 47%. let's listen to that question and answer. >> we have 47% of the people of the united states paying no taxes. federal income tax. is there any way that this 47% can pay a nominal fee or something so they feel that they have small ownership in the government and maybe they won't take all the handouts so readily. >> i've got an idea. let's help them get jobs so they can get a good paycheck so then they're good taxpayers. this is the point that mitt and i have been trying to make. and sometimes the point doesn't get made the right way. we don't want a stagnant economy that fosters dependency. >> sometimes the point doesn't get made the right way.
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jonathan, he sure didn't make it the right way. he says about the 47%, let's help them get jobs. so he thinks the 85-year-old widow who does not pay federal income tax needs to get a job. this was a chance for him to reach out, identify that 47%, and show that he knows what they are struggling with, including making their own pay roll taxes that the people with jobs have to pay that are very significant things taken out of their paycheck. no understanding whatsoever of the 47% demonstrated by paul ryan. >> lawrence, no understanding and no empathy. i mean, it's not like the 47% aren't paying taxes at all. there's sales taxes and state taxes and all sorts of other fees and levies that folks in the 47% pay. and the other thing is you mentioned, you know, it's not just the worker who doesn't make enough in order to qualify to pay federal income taxes.
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but what about the senior citizen who is on social security or medicare? what about the veterans who are coming back from their fourth or fifth tour in afghanistan and iraq war veterans who have come back and were not for the federal government and for the v.a. helping them out, to transition back into regular society and not be in the armed forces, where would they be? i mean, i was just struck by that video of paul ryan. there's no empathy there. no attempt to reach out and say hey, look. i understand what people are going through and this is what mitt romney and i want to do. and what's so devastating about that ad from the obama for america campaign where they just run mitt romney's words and you see women, but you also see senior citizens and variety rans and all sorts of people who make up the 47% who for one reason or
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another, paul ryan doesn't realize that a lot of the 47% are the very people who are in their base and the people they need to vote for them in november. >> let's see if mitt romney has been prepped with a better answer about the 47% tomorrow night. thank you for joining me. >> thank you lawrence. coming up. mitt romney's secret tax returns are still making headlines. "the new york times" used romney's tax returns and new bain documents to expose mitt romney's lies about his money. and the republican voter suppression movement suffered a big loss today in a pennsylvania courtroom. joy reid is here with that coming up. if you are one of the millions of men
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professor warren when she made a mistake, and really mislead the voters of massachusetts, it's not she didn't hear the question. this went on for five weeks of people of the media asking her specifically how they came to know that she was a native american. >> and she responded -- i've got to respond to this. he calls you professor warren, do you think he's trying to cast you as an elitist in front of the voters. >> i worked hard for this. it doesn't bother me. >> the boston globe reported
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today she's proud of being a profess professor. when i see professors from school. she has earned the title. she is now a sitting professor. >> the professor slur has been tried before. >> oh, the good professor from harvard. he wants a great, big, new, vast federalized welfare system. what does that mean? more taxes that you would have to pay, larger people numbers on welfare roles. i believe we need true reform. >> unlike his opponent and his oppone opponent's brother, william f. buckly junior who went to yale, pat moynihan became an educator.
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he shined shoes in time squire while attending a public high school in harlem. he worked hard and he knew a slur when he heard one. the first time his debate opponent senator jim buckley called him professor moynihan. he said ah, the mudslinging has begun. >> jim buckley? he's engaging and honest man who hasn't the soggiest notion what the 20th century is all about. >> now, massachusetts voters have to decide who knows what the 21st century is all about. the republican center who thinks there is no difference between justice scalia and justice
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sotmayor. or the professor. history is on the professor's side. professor moynihan knocked the incumbent out of the senate. running against a harvard professor is harder than scott brown thinks it is. coming up, in tonight's rewrite, the cast of "the west wing" will teach mitt romney how to win the debate. now, the question you have to ask yourself, with 23 hours to go until the debate, how fast a learner is mitt romney? [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags,
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with the blackish-blue frame and the white dots and the splattered paint pattern, your lights are on. what? [ male announcer ] the endlessly customizable 2013 smart. in the spotlight tonight, mitt romney's disastrous 47% comments are still not enough to keep his secret tax returns off the front page. "the new york times" page one headline today offshore tactics helped increase romney's wealth. and by this afternoon the obama
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campaign was up with this video. mitt romney has millions invested in o. shore tax havens. he says it doesn't mean he's avoiding u.s. taxes. >> i have not saved one dollar by having an investment somewhere outside this country. >> there was no reduction, not one dollar reduction in taxes by virtue of having an account in switzerland or a cayman island investment. the dollars of taxes remain exactly the same. >> but that's not true. according to a new report from "the new york times" romney avoided taxes through investments in offshore tax havens. mitt romney avoided paying his fair share. what else is he hiding? joining me now, david k johnston author of the new book, "the fine print" and karen finney. david k. johnstone, the times
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got tax experts to look at the tax returns and some documents they obtained from bain from this new report today. what did we learn? >> well, the cayman islands 4 hundred years ago was a hang out for pirates now it's a hang out for tax pirates. instead of a buried map of where the tresh is, now you get this opinion letters from lawyer, if you follow one every one of these steps, you can get your treasure untaxed to the cayman islands. one of the things the times points out because of the way these were set up and the fees they were charged against them, the less taxes paid by those who were investing, the greater the sum available and therefore the higher the fees that romney collected. >> karen finney, romney, you get the sense the romney campaign expected that the tax return story was a story that they were going to deal with for a while
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and then get past. they weren't banking on "the new york times" putting a team on the tax return, obtaining more documents from bain and putting the pieces together and showing the lie, the lie that we see him tell in that obama video. hey, i didn't save any tax money at all. >> right, no, of course. but also i think they believe that if they just told us, we would just say oh, okay. right? i mean there's something, we've talked about this before, that is very much of a ceo mentality that says i don't have to tell you that. you have to accept what i tell you as the truth where on the face of it it just doesn't sound right. because you want to say why did you put your money over there. we just know that can't possibly be true. but again, i think they expected that we'll deal with it for a few days, we'll have a few news cycles and it will go away because people will just believe us. i really think they thought that. >> david k. johnstone, do you have a tax return question you would like to suggest for
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tomorrow night. >> not that i suspect anyone would ask these, but i think the obvious ones will be will you show us any of these opinion letters that you have. i think the one i would really like to know is tell us how you made your huge for tune on the italian telephone directories while not paying any taxes which has been a big scandal in the italian press. >> karen finney, where would you go if you could get a question on there? >> as a communications person not expecting him to give an honest answer, david is trying to get some facts and information. i would suggest to him or pose the question he sasz he's followed the law to the letter of the law in terms of paying his taxes, but so do the 47%. so why is it that it's okay for him but it's not okay for them. and i would also love to do a little comparison with how much money he's actually saved versus that 47% gets in that earned
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income tax credit and let's just compare who's really getting the sweeter deal there. >> i think if there's just one question, i guess i would like to hear if you gave john mccain a dozen or more tax returns in order to be vetted for him, why wouldn't you give us those tax returns to vet you for the possible presidency. that's what i think the audience could follow. >> absolutely. i think that's what a lot of people are thinking. what is the big deal? why not just show us? and i also think it's a bit of malpractice the way his team has miscalculated how this story would play out. >> and paul ryan had to give ten years of his returns to romney. >> right. thank you both for joining me >> thanks. >> coming up. the republican voter suppression strategy in pennsylvania suffered a big loss in court today. joy reid will join me on that.
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he was playing the republican candidate for president. at the beginning of the debate, the republican proposed something truly radical and set a trap for the democrat. >> you know, i've watched every tell adviced presidential debate this country has ever had, and every time i heard them recite the rules, i always thought that means they're not going to have a real debate. when abraham lincoln debated, he didn't need any rules. he wasn't afraid of a real debate. i could do a two-minute version of my sensible solution stump speech and i'm sure congressman santos has a memorized statement ready to go and we could go on with this ritual and let the rules control how much you're going to learn about the next president of the united states. but we could have a debate lincoln would have been proud of. we could junk the rules.
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we could let our able moderator and ask his questions. we could have a real debate. if that's all right with you, matt. >> senator, according to the rules -- >> no, no. please. you mean like a senate debate? you're going to filibuster me? grab the microphone for the whole hour? >> no. we tell the american people what they need to hear. no more, no less. i suspect the audience will reward brevity. >> okay. let's have a real debate. >> when i wrote that episode of "the west wing", which was the
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longest in history, i consulted with jim lehere who was then and now our most experienced presidential moderator. he was an invaluable resource, but i was sure i was going to lose his support when i told him my idea for dropping the rules of the debate. the republican will propose dropping the rules of the debate because he believes the democrat is a weaker debatetor and needs to hide behind the rules. the democrat will have an awful choice refuse to drop the rules and look like he is obviously hiding behind the rules for the rest of the debate or be forced to agree to drop the rules and take his chances against the more experienced debate or. it was a no lose proposition for the republican. the republican looked supremely confident, while the democrat is forced to cling to the rules or the democrat agrees to dropping the rules which makes the republican look like he's in
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complete control of the debate. there was a long silence at the end of the phone when i presented this idea to jim lehrer. i was sure he was searching for a polite way of saying that is absolutely ridiculous that would never happen. when he finally spoke, he said, i've been sitting up there waiting for that to happen for years. but mitt romney won't propose dropping the rules, because mitt romney is a candidate with a lot to hide. mitt romney is still hiding his tax returns and mitt romney is still hiding what he wants to do to your tax returns. the deductions on your tax returns. a candidate with as much to hide as mitt romney needs to hide, needs to hide behind the rules. the rules that strictly limit the speaking times of each candidate. but mitt romney will have a two-minute final statement, just
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like alan alda did in the west wing presidential debate. every word alan alda said in his final statement is something that mitt romney could say tomorrow night. he could put the best possible face on republicanism in that final two minutes. it could be done. but mitt romney won't do that. because his staff is busy coming up with zingers to aim at the president. team romney would be smart to steal some of alan alda's final lines for tomorrow night, but i don't think team obama needs to worry about how effective mitt romney can be in making his case to the american people. because to paraphrase perhaps the only memorable vice president debate line, i know alan alda, and mitt romney is no alan alda. >> first of all, i want to thank
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matt for agreeing to drop the rules and letting us have a real debate tonight. and what you've heard, over and above the many important policy differences, were different philosophies of government. you know, i believe both of us want what's best for this country. we just have different ideas about how to get is there. i think it's fair to say that matt has more confidence in government than i do. the i have more confidence in freedom. your freedom. your freedom to choose your child's school. your freedom to choose the car or a truck that's right for you and your family. your freedom to save or spend your hard-earned money, instead of having the government spend it for you. no, see, i'm -- i'm not anti-government. i just don't want any more government than we can afford. we don't want government doing things it doesn't know how to do. doing things the private sector does better. we're throwing more money at failed programs, because that's
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exactly what makes people lose faith in government. and all of us, democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives, we all want a government we can believe in. we all want a government that doesn't make false promises. a government that doesn't overreach. that doesn't take on more than it can handle. an efficient, effective, honest government. that's what the founding fathers created. that's what they wanted for us. the choice in this election comes down to this. do we want more government, or do we want to get control of government? to govern is to choose, and the choices are never easy. there are lobbies out there that will fight you on every choice you'll make. they're ready to call you names the second they make a choice they don't like. you heard that heckler here tonight. you have to be tough to stand up to that. but being tough won't help you make the right choice. that makes experience and mature
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judgment. that's what the presidency needs now more than ever. and that's why i ask you to give me your vote. so that i can give you the government you were promised by the founding fathers. thank you very much. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream... ♪ into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪ or make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ how do you help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission?
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on november 6th, i'm going to win pennsylvania and i'm become to become the next president of the united states. >> mitt romney said that on friday when the republican pennsylvania victory plan was still on track. >> voter i.d., which is going to allow governor romney to win the
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state of pennsylvania. done. >> but a judge today said it's not done. in a huge win for voters rights, the judge blocked the key provision for the voter i.d. law. on election day, pennsylvania voters can be asked for a photo i.d. but are not required to show voter i.d. in order to cast a regular ballot. the judge also ruled that the state can continue its advertising campaign. it worries voters rights activists because they say it could confuse voters. a lawyer told reporters if that message doesn't change, then we may be back in court. voters in pennsylvania have just one week left to register to vote. pennsylvania is the 14th state since 2010 to block or blunt a republican-led restrictive voter law, according to the brennan center. joining me now, msnbc's joy
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reid, senior correspondent. this was a big win today in that pennsylvania courtroom. >> it absolutely was. it was critical. not only did pennsylvania have the most restrictive voter i.d. law in the country, it also is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to voting, period. so really what this means is that whereas the state couldn't even get to 10,000 of these i.d.s out of about a half a million they thought they needed, now there isn't going to be that worry that nearly a half a million people could be disenfranchised. so it's good news for voters of pennsylvania. >> what is the worry about continuing the advertising campaign that the pennsylvania government was doing about the new voting procedures? >> the problem is people may still believe they need the i.d. and the problem with that is the various departments of motor vehicles and the other agency were having a terrible time koording their procedures.
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so if people still see the ads. the worry is they think they'll still need the i.d. and that could discourage people who don't have it from showing up at the polls on election day. >> and right now president obama is up 12 points in pennsylvania so it seems as though, according to the polls anyway, that the election in pennsylvania is probably out of reach of even the greatest ambition of the voter suppressers. >> yeah. i think even the republican legislators who let the cat out of the bag, they're not going to have a good day on election day. the romney campaign isn't really mounting a full-force effort in pennsylvania. they understand that it's probably lost. >> and looking at this nationwide as we've seen it in the other states, these are mostly republican-led efforts to institute these laws. and we've had the courts saving us, state courts saving us from the outcomes of these laws. >> absolutely. and in pennsylvania, voters need to get this.
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these are elected supreme court judges in pennsylvania. so it really matters that you go all the way down that ballot. because these judges, just like other politicians, are elected officials. it's very important that people pay attention to who's on the bench. and as you've been saying who's on the united states supreme court because these kind of laws get appealed. these kinds of cases are critical to peoples' rights. >> we did that segment here recently where "the west wing" cast reunited to do a commercial about voting for judges and the importance of voting for judges and a particular judge, candidate mccormick in michigan. this is what it's about. the judges are deciding who gets to vote for president in this country. you couldn't ask them to be dealing with weightier things than this. >> absolutely. i think people tend to look at the top of the ticket. but before you get there there are a whole layer of public officials who you vote